What Microsoft paid The Stones to help launch Windows 95

Deal to use 'Start Me Up' wasn’t as lucrative as first reported

So what did Microsoft really pay The Rolling Stones to use "Start Me Up" as the soundtrack for the advertising campaign that launched Windows 95?

Rumors over the years have pegged the price at anywhere between $8 million and $14 million, although that range has been dismissed as way too high by those supposedly in the know. Now retired Microsoft chief operating officer Bob Herbold has set the record straight in an interview with the Puget Sound Business Journal posted on TechFlash.

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Since I was ever-so-slightly irritated by being forced to listen to an audio clip that accompanies the story to get the answer, I won't make you do the same: Microsoft paid Mick and the boys about $3 million, according to Herbold.

Here's the original television commercial.

(Update: Don't miss this "ancient snark" in the comments section.)

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